Lizzie Lees and Jo Murray

Lizzie and Jo are taking part in our coming Makers and Designers Market at Turner Contemporay on 4th and 5th December 2021.

Describe what you do as a creative.

Designer of homeware lifestyle gifts. I am Lizzie Lees and I work with Jo Murray. Together we design and curate the goods for Maymaker.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

Myself and Jo have worked together for over ten years. Both of us come from textile design backgrounds and met working for Debenhams. Our professional experience has had us both working for most high street retailers including John Lewis, Marks & Sparks, Monsoon and other prominent brands such as Designers Guild. We were both made redundant at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Being mums to small children, we decided this was our window to do our own thing and fullfill our dream of launching our own homeware business.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Jo wanted to be a Camel Shepherd working in the Sahara desert! Haha. That turned out not to be practical so later always wanted to be a fashion designer.
Lizzie wanted to be a teacher – inspired by her mum, but after school quickly realised she wanted to be a Designer or Artist. Always something creative.

How did you begin doing what you do?

Both of us were destined for the arts coming from arty families went to art school.

What turns on your creativity?

For the both of us, being in nature is a huge source of inspiration and one that we will never tired of. For Jo, being relaxed and thinking about her grand-mother painting gives her motivation.

What do you like best about your work?

The process.

When were you most satisfied in your work?

We have both ghost designed for well known fashion designers. Lizzie designed the homeware range for Ben de Lisi at Debenhams and Jo designed the homeware range for Jasper Conran. These were fantastic collections to work on and gave us a huge source of reward knowing so many people were able to buy a designer labelled item at an affordable price.

What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?

The birth of Maymaker is a huge excitement to us – it is all very new and we are learning at every avenue. We literally cannot wait to develop the brand further and bring more sustainable homewares to the table. We have so many ideas!

What is your dream project?

It would be heavenly to collaborate with another well established sustainable brand who share the same brand values as us. It would be dreamy to work with local company Haeckles in some way (if you read this!! 🙂

Which artists / creative people are your heroes / inspiring figures?

We find the Bloomsbury group to be of huge inspiration.

Your idea of happiness.

Cosy dark rooms snuggled up after coming in from the rain.
Post sea swim, tea and cake in the garden.

What art/creativity related book should everyone read?

Anything! There is always stuff to learn from any artists life.

Tell us a lesson life has taught you.

Not to get caught up in the past, life moves on. We must learn, grow and evolve. Be kind.

Author: nathalieb